Tag Archives: photos

Weeds and how we grow’em

It’s starting to be crunch time on the farm.  That’s not completely true… it feels like crunch time on the farm for most of the season.  But this is a different crunch time.  If things don’t get seeded or transplanted today (or really, yesterday or last week or who knows when in the past, but really, SERIOUSLY, before tomorrow), they’re not going to have enough daylight hours to ripen all the way to… well… ripe.  So it’s crunch time.  Jer’s been working like mad, while also trying to have a day off here and there, albeit mostly unsuccessfully.

Deadly nightshade – not my picture, because this one has flowered and is going to seed!

I’ve been looking at pictures of where we were at last year, and while we’re still behind, we’re less behind.  What we aren’t less behind on is the weeds.  We’ve tried really hard to stay on top of the weeds this year, especially before they go to seed.  Last year we had a few weeds totally take off, and they became an absolute bane in the greenhouse – there was one nightshade that was especially vigorous.  So this year, we’re on the watch for it, and I don’t think we’ve let any flower yet, much less go to seed.  So that’s good.

Smartweed – also not my picture

Jer’s got a new weed on his radar, and he’s teaching me about it, but I keep thinking smartweed (or knotweed) is the plant he’s talking about, but it’s not, so I need a little more practice.  I had a goal of getting half of my dahlias weeded last week, so that they could maybe, FINALLY, start to flower, and that got done.  I am so ready to start making bouquets that aren’t lily-centric!  I love the lilies, but I’m ready for more choice!

Miss P had her 5-month-iversary this week.  We celebrated by going to the market, but also by visiting with the folks whose house she was born at.  We’re all just so darn grateful for her and her smiles, her gurgles and her snuggles.  She’s a gooder.

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How things change…

I used to be a daily journaler.  I would write almost every night before I went to bed.  Nothing was off-limits.  Daily events, feelings, ideas, stories, poetry… I wrote in French and in English.  I wrote meditations and quotes.  I wrote a lot.  It was my way of processing what was happening in my world, and was incredibly important to me.  I wrote for almost 20 years, and have a box of journals full of these writings.  Then, when Jer and I moved in together, I kinda stopped writing.  I didn’t need to write things down to process them, because I had this partner who would do it with me.  So I stopped.  Sometimes I miss it, but not often because our lives are so full.  But what I did miss was the routine, and the remembering.  I missed being able to go back and read about where I was at and when, especially the fun bits.

And then, almost 5 years ago, one of our aunts bought us this lovely little 5 year journal.  It was a delightful gift, and it’s been 4 and a half years that we’ve been writing in it, almost daily.  We write about funny things (like when Jeremy makes the bedroom smell really bad), serious things (like when wildlife comes and eats our chickens), daily happenings (like parties and beach swims and visits from friends), but mostly we write about farmy things.  When things are planted, when they’re harvested, when certain flowers start to bloom.  We write about the weather and the first and last frost.  What this means is that when people talk about how far behind or ahead we are, I can either agree or disagree, and I actually have data to back it up… 4 years of data, which isn’t much, but it’s something!  So I can tell you that we were eating lots of strawberries this time last year and we were cutting our first lilies.  Lilies this year are weeks away, and our first strawberries are just starting to pink up.  In other words?  We’re totally 2 or 3 weeks behind the past few year.  Drat.

Other news?  June is the month of visitors!  A lovely friend that I met 9 years ago at a Vipassana meditation in Bolivia is here for a month with her husband and 8-month old son, as part of their jaunt around the world.  It’s been super fun to catch up, go for swims and spend time on the farm together.  It’s also lovely to spend so much time with another babe… I’m sure Patryn agrees!Early days market table

 

Sleep and the lack thereof

Once upon a time, about 5 years ago actually, sleep deprivation was all about a mink eating our chickens in the middle of the night.  To be honest, eating isn’t a fair representation of what was happening, as the mink in question (and pretty much every other mink) mostly drain their prey’s blood and then move on to the next prey.  This way, they can massacre a whole flock pretty fast.  Now, I digress… 5 years ago, we weren’t sleeping because our chickens were being massacred.  Now, our chickens are still being massacred, but mostly because we’re not sleeping enough to remember to close them up at night religiously, and a raccoon has figured out where there’s food.

And why, you ask, are we not sleeping?

Well, because of her.  See, last year we grew more than vegetables (and flowers.  We grow a lot of flowers these days).  Last year, we grew a human.  She decided to start hanging out on the outside of my body on February 15th, and since then, we sleep less than we did before.  More some nights, less right now because she has a cold and snorfles when she breathes, and then the snorfles don’t get her enough air, and then she cries, and then we don’t sleep.  It’s pretty hard to sleep through some of the snorfles too.  So we don’t sleep.  I’m learning to cope on less sleep, but the coping sure is pretty meager sometimes.  I certainly don’t feel very intelligent, and I struggle regularly with finding words.  Like always.  Words are tricky monsters.

So we grew a human.  Now, we’re back to growing vegetables and flowers, and I’m still growing a human.  The vegetables and flowers were taking a bit of a back seat, which was okay because the spring was horrid (as was the winter and the fall… remember October when it rained every single day?), but now it’s hot, and the vegetables and the flowers need to become more of a priority, but that’s hard without the sleep.

Anyways, I hope that I’ll be back to hanging out on the blog more now that I’m not growing a human inside my body and not starting (and finishing!) my Masters every moment of spare time I had.  I also, of course, am hoping for some sleep.

The garden at the beginning of April

April 1st – First day with dirty fingernails

I think I’ve come to accept that the kitchen, in spring, will always be used to start seeds…

Seeds are growing

Oh, the stories that chickens could tell…

The chickens around this place are a little more ridiculous than normal these days.  You see, I hatched out a batch of chicks with my students this year, and after all of that was said and done, we’ve got 10 birds that have survived.  They’re the teenagers of this pack, and, for the most part, they’re a gang of teenagers.

The teenagers

The teenagers

They hang out, get bullied by some of the adults (maybe their parents), but there’s a total hierarchy amongst them.  Two of them (we call them the Egyptians, due to their colouring), have started roosting in the house at night, on the TOP most roosting bar, pooping on all of the adult birds below them, all night long.  But, as teenagers are wont to do, and to be, there’s one that just doesn’t fit in.  Normally, in human situations, I would blame this on the big group, and accuse them of being conformist and traditional and rude and mean.  This, however, is not a human situation, and the bird who doesn’t fit in is by no means normal. Not in the cool, non-conformist way of not being normal either.

She’s just stupid.

The not-as-clever chicken

She gets lost in the forest.  When we call her, she wanders further afield.  Last night she didn’t even make it back to the house, and so very easily could have been eaten by any one of the predators in our creek… but she didn’t, so she was out there this morning, cheep peeping along, trying to find her way home.  Seriously.  In the wild, this chicken would be dead long ago.  The way it stands now, I don’t know how long she’ll survive.

Plus, on top of the teenagers, we have a baby.

Disheveled mom and babe

Disheveled mom and babe

Although, the baby is growing up fast (don’t they always?).  She was hatched out by a pair of moms (a lesbian love story in the chicken house), and the moms have swapped their momly duties in the past month or so that she’s been around.  The baby’s gone back to the barred rock mom, who is looking as disheveled as any new mom I know.  The other mom, a red rock, has gone back to the land of Ferdinand, our rooster.  The saga in the chicken yard is mighty ridiculous these days.

Stories on the farm are as to be expected.  The cooler crops (peas, salad, lettuce, broccoli, etc.) are really enjoying the cool weather.  Imagine that, huh?  The warmer (and the hot ones especially) like corn and tomatoes and cucumbers and some of my flowers would like it a little… warmer?  So would I.  Then I would spend more time at the beach and the lake and in the water and that would make me happy.  Either way, warm or cool, the garden is growing.  I took a few pictures at our market table this morning (I ALWAYS forget until the end of the market, when the table looks sad and depleted), but my camera was on a funny setting, so excuse the general non-focusness of the pictures.  Then, when I went onto the farm to take some pictures, all I took shots of was flowers.  And broccoli.  I like broccoli.  I’m clearly biased in regards to the crops we grow, but I think you all already knew that.

Broccoli

Broccoli

Gladiola

Gladiola

Dahlia

Dahlia

Sunflower and honey bee

Sunflower and honey bee

Echinacea

Echinacea

Dahlia

Dahlia

Lily

Lily

Market table

Market table

Market table

Market table

Market table

Market table

Gallery

And that, my friends, is a wrap

This gallery contains 34 photos.

That, my dear friends, was a doozie of a farming season.  The last farmer’s market was yesterday; our last CSA box went out on Tuesday.  We just harvested the last of the corn and tomatoes to process for winter, and … Continue reading

Grateful, even with the bucket

I told people over the weekend that I was done school.  They thought that meant I was done my Masters.  That’s not what it means.  It means that I’m done for the summer, and that’s not even true.  I have to edit a colleague’s paper, and then read over how she’s edited mine (but at least I have a good first draft, which is 11 pages more than I had yesterday!), and then I have to edit my ethics application, and THEN I’m really on summer vacation.  Then I have 2 courses, some research, and a thesis to write, and then I’ll be done my Masters, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  First I get to go on summer vacation.  Granted, I’ve done lots of summer vacation things already this summer, but mentally, emotionally, and physically (I was living in Nanaimo for the most part dammit!) I have definitely not been on vacation.  Jeremy can attest to that, but he probably won’t unless I’m not around, because he might be a little afraid of my reaction.  I can’t say that I’ve been the most patient this month (even though I used to say that patience is for chumps, I didn’t mean that being patient with your friends or partner was chump-ish… I just meant that you shouldn’t wait to do things because waiting is dumb).  I can’t say that I’ve been especially thoughtful this month (although I did knit Jeremy an entire surprise sweater, which is pretty thoughtful.  And which really hurt my wrists, which makes typing 11 pages in a day hard.  Dammit again).  I can say that I swam almost every day this month, that I spent time with my flowers every chance I got, and that I was almost always grateful for where and how I live.  You would be too, I think.  Except for maybe the toilet part.  I don’t think everyone would be grateful to give up their flush toilet for a bucket.  I can’t think of very many who would be, actually.  I certainly wasn’t initially… but I am grateful that I don’t use gallons of clean water every time I pee.

All of these things may be too much information.  The sunset’s really pretty right now.  I’m going for a sunset stroll.  Look at the pictures.  You’d be grateful to live here.  Even with the bucket.

A cop-out of a post

I’m a bit of an emotional mess from today being the last day of school (teachers have to go in tomorrow for meetings and such, but that really doesn’t count), especially because I have to change schools again for next year, so instead of saying anything about school or work (and instead of apologizing for not having written in months), I’m going to inundate you with pictures of the farm… or at least pictures of my flowers from around the farm.  I’m hoping to write a real post soon.